Getty Images

F1: Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon clash on and off track at Brazilian GP

7 Comments

SAO PAULO (AP) — Max Verstappen pushed Force India’s Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday following a collision on the track when the Red Bull driver was leading the race.

The incident is being investigated by Formula One stewards.

Verstappen finished second in the race, which was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

The collision happened on lap 44 at Interlagos when Verstappen was building a lead over Hamilton and trying to pass backmarker Ocon, who was not moving aside.

Moments after crossing the line second, Verstappen said over the radio to his team: “I hope I can’t find him (Ocon) in the paddock now” and the Dutchman then added a couple of expletives.

Verstappen cut off his post-race interview to confront Ocon in the paddock.

The Frenchman pushed Verstappen’s hand away, but Verstappen appeared to angrily shove Ocon in the chest twice as the Force India driver seemed to beckon to his mechanics for help.

As Ocon grinned and seemed to say something, Verstappen pushed him hard again in the chest and walked off, before turning around and pointing a finger at Ocon.

At a news conference later, Verstappen said he insulted Ocon to his face and said it was fair that the Frenchman received a stop and go penalty after the incident.

Ocon did not apologize in an interview after the incident.

“What really displeases me is his behavior afterward, coming to see me and then violently shoving me,” Ocon told Canal Plus television. “To behave like a lunatic clearly isn’t right and not sporting.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended Verstappen’s actions, saying that “Ocon has to take responsibility. He’s cost him a grand prix victory today.”

F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

Getty Images
Leave a comment

AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.